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IMF Reviews Jamaica's Tax Reform Progress

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

21 February 2014


Jamaica's 2013/14 budget is on track despite a revenue shortfall owing to weak demand, the International Monetary Fund has said.

An IMF mission visited Jamaica during February 5-13, 2014, to carry out a third review of Jamaica's IMF-supported program under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Jan Kees Martijn, the Fund's mission chief for Jamaica, said that overall policy implementation under the program remains strong. He said that the critical challenge remains to support economic growth while continuing to reduce debt.

Policy priorities under the territory's updated program include:

  • Introducing amendments to the General Consumption Tax Act to eliminate the zero rate for government purchases;
  • Reform of property taxes from the start of the fiscal year 2015/16;
  • The creation of an effective fiscal rule to enhance fiscal transparency and lock in the gains from fiscal consolidation;
  • Strengthening the legal and regulatory framework in the securities trading sector; and
  • The implementation of an action plan on tax administration, which will modernize the tax and customs administration, strengthen the Large Taxpayers Office, improve IT systems, and make enforcement efforts more efficient.

"These preliminary understandings are subject to approval by the IMF's Management and Executive Board," the mission chief said. "Provided that performance remains strong, board consideration of the third review of Jamaica's IMF-supported program under the EFF could take place in March." Upon approval, JMD45.95m (about USD71m) would be made available to Jamaica.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | property tax | public sector | budget | International Monetary Fund (IMF) | Jamaica | trade | Tax

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